First Look Review of Sabai Sabai Simply Thai
Reviewed By Kate Nerenberg
Comments () | Published March 23, 2010
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Sabai Sabai Simply Thai
Address: 19847-M Century Blvd., Germantown, MD 20874
Phone: 301-528-1400
Neighborhood: Germantown
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Thai
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Thursday 11 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 4:30 to 10. Open for lunch and dinner Friday 11 to 10:30, Saturday 11:30 to 10:30, Sunday noon to 9:30.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: N/A
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Larb, a spicy mix of ground chicken, lime juice, and peppers; chive dumplings; fried corn cakes with a cucumber condiment; peppercorn shrimp; pork skewers with a sweet/spicy dipping sauce.
Price Details: Starters $4.95 to $8.95, entrées $9.95 to $18.95.

If it weren’t for the tables and chairs at Sabai Sabai Simply Thai, the place could be mistaken for a yoga studio. The serene space—awash in moss green and rust orange, decorated with a stone motif and photos of Thai street life—feels far from its location: a Germantown strip mall behind a car dealership. The restaurant—whose name means “relax relax”—comes from Fred and CiCi Hart, who until two years ago owned Benjarong in Rockville. The menu has three sections: familiar classics, Thai street fare, and vegetarian dishes. The common denominator is fresh ingredients—there’s no MSG—elevated by well-balanced sauces with unusually deep flavor.

Sweet-corn and shrimp cakes—both fried but not greasy—get the same excellent vinegary cucumber condiment, while a roasted-duck salad is treated to hits of lime juice and house-made chili paste. A house-seasoned soy sauce accompanies plump and crispy chive dumplings, while Crying Tiger—beef slices in a fiery sauce—is tempered by citrus and sugar.

If the kitchen continues to turn out the same vivid flavors it has in its opening months, Sabai Sabai is poised to become one of Washington’s best Thai restaurants.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.  

This review appears in the March, 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.  

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